Oprah Winfrey continues to double down on her commitment to invest in the next generation of leaders. On Monday during a visit to Morehouse College, Winfrey surprised staff and students with an announcement that she was investing another $13 million to continue the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship Fund she established 30 years ago.
The media mogul formed the endowment in 1989 with an initial $12 million investment. According to CBS46, Winfrey said she initially gave to Morehouse because the school’s mission and goal to develop leaders focused on excellence aligned with the lessons she gained as a child.
“I understand that African American men are an endangered species. They are so misunderstood. They are so marginalized. Where and when I can lend support to try to change that image, I do,” she stated. “That is what Morehouse is doing. It is saying, ‘This is who we really are,’” Winfrey said.
Morehouse published a video of Winfrey from the event where she shared her thoughts about the students and what their matriculation at the college means.
“Seeing you young Oprah Winfrey scholars here today has moved me deeply. I am so proud of you, I’m proud of everybody in attendance at this school who is seeking to know more clearly who you are, the value you hold and how you will share that value with the rest of the world.” She continued, “I was really surprised to learn that its been 30 years since I made that $12 million donation to Morehouse and so today I would like to add another $13 million dollars to that.”
In 2011, over 400 scholarship recipients of the program surprised Winfrey on her show to pay it forward and show her the impact of her giving.
Winfrey’s investment brings her total contribution to $25 million, which according to Morehouse, is the largest endowment in the College’s history.
Just last week Winfrey made another surprise announcement during a speaking engagement with the United Negro College Fund in North Carolina. There she matched the local chapter’s fundraising efforts with a donation of $1.15 million.
It’s difficult to quantify Winfrey’s legacy, but Maya Angelou said it best, “Your legacy is every life you touch.”
Raise your hand if Oprah has touched your life! What a legacy!
Photo credit: Morehouse College